WHO ARE WE
Debate it Forward (DIF) is an education non-profit, using its pioneering debate curriculum to increase the empathy, self-efficacy, and critical-thinking skills of students overlooked by traditional debate circuits: young students, students of low income, and students with diagnosed learning or developmental differences. Through hiring and training university students, Debate it Forward provides its high-quality, low-cost debate curriculum for in-school classes, after-school clubs, camps and private tutoring.
Four years ago, our CEO, Leah, was in the car with her little cousin. He was six at the time, and as six year olds do, was throwing a tantrum. In an effort to restore sanity to the car (and stop the kicking and screaming), Leah turned and said, “We’re going to play a game called ‘Debate.’ I’m gonna say something, and you have ten seconds to prove me wrong.” Instantly captivated, they played debate for over an hour with his big sister joining in. This was a pivotal moment, inspiring Leah to change how she viewed debate. She realized if we can find a way to de-emphasize the competitive nature of debate, we could expand it to a much broader base of kids. Leah approached Josh with that idea and Debate it Forward was born.
The quality of civil discourse in society is abysmal. Current discourse building programs target high-income students and mainly teach deliberative processes in a competitive manner.
We envision a world in which disagreement doesn't breed disparagement, where empathy is second nature, and where every young person can confidently answer the question: "What do you think?"
THE 3 CRITICAL COMPONENTS TO PRODUCTIVE DISCOURSE:
By arguing alternative viewpoints from their own, students learn to understand viewpoints different from their own.
Teaching the three critical parts of any argument (what, why, and why it matters), students learn how to make arguments that flow logically.
Presenting in front of their peers at an early age, students learn to use and own their voice in debate and in life.
THE 9 CORE SKILLS FOR DEBATE:
We've deconstructed debate into nine core elements. These core skills are intrinsic to debate as an activity but more importantly, instrumental to improving the skills young people need to succeed. We leverage these nine core skills in a hands-on, activity-based curriculum to engage and develop these skills in students in a fun way.
GET TO KNOW US
LEARN ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS
Learn more about DIF's team, founders, and board.
DIF offers a variety of programs: summer camp, after-school, in-school, and private coaching.